Disney Magic, the first ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, is getting a major facelift.
It's far more than a nip and tuck: The ship will have re-imagined kids' and adult spaces, as well as new dining options.
The re-launch of Disney Magic is scheduled for this fall. The ship will be in dry dock from Sept. 10 through Oct. 7, 2013 for its upgrades.
The addition the young -- and young at heart -- will find most exciting is the new AquaDunk water ride, not to be confused with the very popular AquaDuck on the Fantasy-class ships.
The AquaDunk is a 37-foot-tall body slide that begins with a surprise launch that takes riders down three decks from Deck 13 to Deck 10. The riders travel through a translucent tube extends 20 feet over the side of the ship with a view of the ocean more than 100 feet below.
For the littlest cruisers, there's the Twist n' Spout waterslide and the Nephews' Splash Zone, a water play area featuring Donald Duck's nephews: Huey, Dewey and Louie.
In a media briefing with reporters, Joe Lanzisero, senior vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering, said the cruise line took what it's learned from its newer ships -- including the most-recently launched Dream, to make decisions about how to best refurbish the Disney Magic.
What's seemingly worked on the newer ships is the kids' spaces. Cruisers will find an Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab as they do on Fantasy and Dream.
There are a few new additions, however, most notably the Marvel's Avengers Academy. Marvel recently joined the Disney family and this is the first time Marvel superheroes will have a home on a Disney Cruise Line ship.
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Disney Cruise Line fans will recognize the familiar Andy's Room, with a twist. On the Magic, Andy's bed becomes the focal point of the space and kids can climb to the top or play underneath.
One significant change in the Oceaneer Club and Lab is that, unlike on Fantasy and Magic, the areas won't be split up according to age. On Magic, both areas are for kids 3 - 12.
"We learned that kids of families who are different ages or kids in groups traveling together wanted to play together," Lanzisero said.
There will also be an "It's a Small World" nursery for kids under 3.
The adult spaces on the ship have also been re-imagined. There will be Fathoms, a night club; Keys, a piano bar and lounge; and O'Gills, an Irish pub and sports bar. The Senses Spa will be enlarged and include a Smile Spa for teeth whitening. Palo, the adults-only restaurant, will get a makeover.
Fans of the casual dining restaurant Cabanas will be happy to know it will now be on the Disney Magic, replacing Topsider Buffet. But, Lanzisero said, the traditional buffet line will be replaced with individual food stations. There will also be nearly triple the indoor, air-conditioned space in which to eat.
Disney Magic is the first ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. It launched in 1998. The ship will sail October through December out of Miami on Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries. In January 2014, the ship will sail out of Port Canaveral in Florida to the Bahamas until May.
The ship carries 2,713 passengers. Reservations are being taken for the "new" Disney Magic now.